*I received a free copy of the book Never Ever Give Up from Handlebar Marketing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees with Jenna Glatzer
If you’ve seen the gold avatars lighting up Facebook and Twitter this month, you’ve already seen NEGU (pronounced knee-goo) in action. September is pediatric cancer awareness month, and people are changing their avatars for children affected by cancer.
One child affected by cancer was Jessie Rees, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer at age 11 and died 10 months later. Her battle with cancer, and her family’s journey through the illness and beyond, are the subject of the book Never Ever Give Up, told by her dad, Erik.
Shortly after Jessie’s diagnosis, she expressed a desire to help kids who were going through cancer and other serious illnesses. She came up with the idea of creating JoyJars filled with items the kids would enjoy. Getting JoyJars into the hands of as many kids as possible became Jessie’s mission, and it’s one her family carries on today, through the Jessica Rees Foundation. Her motto was NEGU (never ever give up), and it is still going strong through the work of the Foundation and the people who partner with them.
I’m sure you’ve already guessed that the book is sad. That’s true. Reading about a child the same age as my older daughter who fights and loses her battle with cancer is heartbreaking. But Never Ever Give Up is also filled with hope and inspiration. I was amazed and blessed that Jessie wanted so much to give to others when she was going through so much herself.
At the end of the book, Erik asks that each reader find a passion to pursue, something that will make someone else’s life better. If it’s pediatric cancer awareness, that’s great, but if it’s something else, that’s great too. I appreciate his request that we each find what our passion is, but I would ask that during this month, we each do what we can for pediatric cancer awareness. Together, we can make a difference.